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Bank Officers Testify At Murder Trial

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Bank Officers Testify At Murder Trial | The Thaiger

PHUKET TOWN: The prosecution called two bank officers to the witness stand yesterday at the Phuket Provincial Courthouse in the ongoing trial of five suspects charged in connection with the murder of businessman Danis Wayne Tong. The officers of the Phuket main branches of Bangkok Bank Limited and Siam Commercial Bank offered testimony on checks presented by Tong and one of the accused, Pratin Prakthong. They also testified about actions taken by suspect Hugo Vandervelde regarding checks drawn on the accounts of Thai Flemish Trading Company prior to the June 24, 1997 slaying. Earlier trial testimony of a police investigator and Jamlong Yamsuwan, Tong’s common law wife, pointed to business loan arrangements between Vandervelde and Tong as a motive for what prosecutors contend was a murder-for-hire scheme. Bangkok Bank Limited Officer Prajak Kaewkew told the court that Vandervelde, in his capacity as Thai Flemish Trading Company Managing Director, was the sole authorized signatory on the company’s current account at the bank’s Phuket Town branch. According to testimony given in September by Pol Maj Preecha Kla-thanong, Chief of the Special Investigations Unit for Phuket Province, Vandervelde, through his Phuket-based meat wholesaling firm, had close business ties with Tong and there were loans and outstanding work-related compensation due the murder victim. Pol Maj Preecha testified that these totalled 800,000 baht. The Bangkok Bank officer testified that a 600,000-baht check, dated April 1, 1997 and drawn on Thai Flemish Trading’s account, was presented for payment on June 23 of last year by Tong at the bank’s Phuket Town branch. The witness said the check was declined by the bank because Vandervelde had issued a stop-payment order on it. On June 24, 1997, the day after the check was declined, Tong was gunned down outside his Rawai residence. In earlier testimony, Jamlong told the court Tong had feared for his life if he cashed a check given to him by Vandervelde. Cross-examined by Vandervelde’s defense attorney, Surasak Pitisuree, the bank officer confirmed that a signature written alongside the date of the 600,000 baht check did not appear to be the same as the one written on the check’s signature line. Prosecutor Chestavit Tantiphanwadee then called to the stand Mongkol Thanapanpanitch, an officer of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB). He testified that three checks were presented on June 20, 1997 for deposit into a Siam Commercial Bank Patong branch savings account maintained by Tong. Among the checks was the same 600,000-baht item presented to Bangkok Bank three days later. It was refused by SCB, as were the two others, each of which had been drawn in the amount of 10,000 baht on SCB. The officer testified that he informed Tong of the bank’s non-acceptance of the three items, advising that stop payment orders had been issued by the authorized signatory. The witness also confirmed for the prosecution that bank records entered into evidence showed a 30,000-baht check deposit into a current account maintained by suspect Pratin Prakthong on May 22, 1997. The check was drawn on Thai Flemish Trading’s Bangkok Bank account. Testimony in the case is scheduled to resume before Phuket Provincial Court Judge Supat Loychusak on February 25, 1999.

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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